Disability Sport Wales funds a number of key sports. Each sport consists of a range of classifications that are identified depending on the disability type competing in each class.
Our athletes compete in three wheelchair field disciplines using specifically designed ‘throwing frames’ which are tailor made to maximise the athletes functional capabilities. The disciplines are: Shot Putt, Discus and Javelin. Shot Putt, Discus and Javelin techniques are all based on the way in which able bodied athletes throw.
To benefit from everything the sport has to offer, we encourage disabled athletes to join their local athletics club.
Wheelchair racing is the racing of wheelchairs in track and road races. Wheelchair racing is open to athletes with any qualifying type of disability, amputees, spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy and partially sighted (when combined with another disability). Athletes are classified in accordance with the nature and severity of their disability or combinations of disabilities.
Like running, it can take place on a track or as a road race. The main competitions take place at the summer paralympics which wheelchair racing and athletics has been a part of since 1960. Competitors compete in specialized wheelchairs which allow the athletes to reach speeds of 30 km/h or more.
Adaptive rowing is a category of rowing race for those with physical disabilities. Under FISA rules there are three categories for adaptive rowers: LTA - Legs, Trunk, Arms - Use of at least one leg, trunk and arms. Also for those with visual and intellectual impairments. Rowed with standard boats and sliding seats.
TA - Trunk and Arms
Only use of trunk muscles. Boat has fixed seat.
A - Arms only
Limited trunk control. Boat has fixed seat and rower is strapped at upper chest level to only allow shoulder and arm movements.
At FISA events there are 4 boat events (
standard nomenclature is used):
4+ Mixed LTA
2x Mixed TA
1x Men A
1x Women A
Racing is held over 1,000 m and in mixed events half the crew must be male and other half female (coxswain maybe of either gender and may be able bodied). Single shells for the Arms Only category must have stabilising pontoons attached to the riggers. Adaptive events were added to the World Rowing Championships in 2002 and took place at the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing, China.
Boccia is a traditional recreational sport for athletes who require a wheelchair because of physical disability. Its name is derived from the Latin word for ball – bottia. It was originally designed to be played by people with cerebral palsy but now includes athletes with other severe disabilities affecting motor skills. In 1984 it became a Paralympic sport, and in 2008 was being practiced in over fifty countries worldwide. Boccia is governed by the Cerebral Palsy International Sports and Recreation Association(CPISRA) and is well known Paralympic sport.
Cycling competitions are relatively new for athletes with disabilities. In the early eighties, the visually impaired were the first group of athletes to compete, and athletes with cerebral palsy and amputees began racing at the International Games for the Disabled in 1984. Up until the 1992 Paralympics, the competitions for each of these different groups were held separately. Then, at the Barcelona Games, spectators witnessed intense competitions in both track and road races between athletes in all three disability groups.
The cycling events are divided into individual and team (a group of three cyclists from one nation) events. Athletes with cerebral palsy compete using standard racing bikes and, in some classes, tricycles. Athletes who are blind or visually impaired compete on tandem bicycles with a sighted team-mate, and they participate in the road race and the time trial events. Finally, amputees and cyclists with permanent locomotor deficiencies compete in individual road race events using cycles specifically constructed for their needs.
Also Handcycling is available to athletes who normally require a wheelchair for general mobility, or athletes not able to use a conventional bicycle or tricycle because of severe lower limb disability.
Welsh Cycling is fully committed to ensuring that all individuals are able to enjoy participation in Cycling, and actively encourages and supports the cycling ambitions of anyone with a disability.
Disability Cycle sport in the UK is open to both male and female competitors.
How can I get involved'
If you have a disability and would like to get involved in Cycling, please contact Mr Neil Smith (contact at bottom of the page) who will be pleased to assist you with your goals.
British Cycling's World Class programme currently supports a very successful Disability Paralympic squad, which is resourced and equipped to the same standard as the remainder of the GB squads.
Welsh Cycling is keen to increase its membership of Welsh cyclists on all British Cycling programmes, and will seek to support any cyclist who has the potential to succeed on an International stage.
Academy Coach / Disability Cycling Co-Ordinator
Name: Neil Smith
Wheelchair basketball is a team sport for athlete with a disability. It was first played at the 1956 International Stoke-Mandeville Games and is now considered one of the major sports practiced for people with a disability and is a Paralympic Sport. The International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) is the governing body for this sport. It is recognized by the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) as the sole competent authority in wheelchair basketball world wide.
Wheelchair rugby is a team sport for athletes with a disability. Developed in Canada in 1977, it is currently practiced in over twenty countries around the world and is a Paralympic sport. The sport's original name was murderball; in the United States, it is referred to as quad rugby. All wheelchair rugby players have disabilities that include at least some loss of function in at least three limbs; most are medically classified as quadriplegic. Wheelchair rugby is played indoors on a hardwood court.
Table Tennis is a Paralympic sport which requires high speed and quick reactions in all divisions of competitions as players use world-class techniques despite physical disabilities. Athletes from all disability classes participate and compete in one of ten classes. These classes are based on the athlete's disability. Paralympic table tennis competitions are governed by the rules set out by the International Table Tennis Federation, with slight modifications for wheelchair athletes. All matches shall be best of five games to eleven points.
Sitting volleyball is another version of Volleyball that has been adapted to allow anyone to participate including those with a disability. To play at an International level there are certain classification requirements that need to be met in terms of disabilities. Sitting volleyball has enjoyed full Paralympic status since 1980, with a Great Britain Team previously competing at the highest level until 1991. More recently since the announcement of 2012 the Great Britain programme has been re-established and Volleyball England now lead on these squads in preparation for London. The game is also an excellent vehicle for players returning from injury during rehabilitation. Sitting volleyball is another version of Volleyball that has been adapted to allow anyone to participate including those with a disability. To play at an International level there are certain classification requirements that need to be met in terms of disabilities. Sitting volleyball has enjoyed full Paralympic status since 1980, with a Great Britain Team previously competing at the highest level until 1991. More recently since the announcement of 2012 the Great Britain programme has been re-established and Volleyball England now lead on these squads in preparation for London. The game is also an excellent vehicle for players returning from injury during rehabilitation.
Sailing is a relatively recent sport at the Paralympic Games. The Atlanta 1996 Paralympic Games introduced Sailing as a demonstration sport, leading to its acceptance as a full medal sport at the Sydney 2000 Paralympics. This sport is open to athletes with an amputation, cerebral palsy, visual impairment, spinal injuries and les autres.
The Sailing classification system is based on four factors - stability, hand function, mobility and vision. Athletes compete in three events, which are non-gender specified: The Single-Person and Three-Person Keelboats are open to most disability groups, while the Two-Person Keelboat event is specifically designed for athletes with a severe disability.
Horse riding has long been uses as a means for the rehabilitation and improvement of the physical skills of people with a disability, it evolved into a sport during the 1970s. The 1984 World Games in New York marked the beginning of international dressage competitions for men and women riders with a disability, with the first Dressage World Championship taking place in Sweden three years later.
The disclipine was first included at the Paralympics in 1996, and has flourished ever since.Equestrian is open to athletes with visual impairment, cerebral palsy, amputation or other physical impairments; with disabilities classified into one of the four distinct grades - I, II, III and IV. The men and women riders perform two programmes: a predetermined test (individual championship) and a freestyle to music test. There is also a team test that, with the individual championship, determines the result of the all-important team competition. In the individual championship, athletes perform a series of compulsory movements with transitions between them - walk, trot and, for some riders, canter. The freestyle to music test is more open to the artistic impression of the rider. While there are some compulsory movements, it is free in the form and manner of the presentation that the rider chooses within a fixed time.
While some partially sighted players play in pan disability football teams, there are a number of VI specific clubs which play in a national league structure. Blind footballers play a different version of the game.
The game is played on a solid surface
There are five players in each team
Outfield players must wear eye-patches and blindfolds
The goalkeeper is sighted, but cannot leave the area
There are no off-side rules
The football contains ball bearings so that it makes a noise when it moves
PARTIALLY SIGHTED - Games are played on indoor pitches with a size-4 ball, which are designed to bounce less than a normal one.
Goalkeepers are sighted, but not allowed to leave their area.
British Blind Sport runs the national 5-a-side football league for visually impaired players. It also hosts football develement days throughought the country and an annual national schools tournament (for under 18's).
The FA run both an England Partially Sighted team and an England Blind team football. These teams compete at the European Championships and the World Cup. The FA's regional Ability Counts leagues give CP players the opportunity to play regular competative football, and progress to the England squad. Five-a-side football for visually impaired players was introduced at the Paralympic Games in Athens 2004.
Wheelchair tennis integrates very easily with the able-bodied game since it can be played on any regular tennis court, with no modifications to the size of the court or the size of rackets or balls. Wheelchair tennis follows the same rules as able-bodied tennis as endorsed by the ITF, with the only exception being that the wheelchair tennis player is allowed two bounces of the ball.
Wales has held a strong tradition of producing high level Paralympic swimmers in the past and with British Swimming having one of their 4 High Performance bases at Wales National Pool, Swansea, the aim is to ensure that this tradition stays in place.
As National Disability Swimming Development Officer, my role will be to ensure that swimmers with disabilities have the opportunity to progress from Local Authority Learn to Swim to a competitive pathway. At present there are 2 National Squads, with a view towards a third, of our most promising swimmers, some of whom are on British Swimming World Class pathway.
I am also working very closely with all 22 Local Authorities in developing more aquatic opportunities for swimmers with a disability as well as putting in place an integrated and inclusive plan for swimmers to take part in mainstream lessons, Free swim and club environments where appropriate.
If you have any questions or require any further information please feel free to contact me on the details provided. I will be happy to assist in any way I can.
National Disability Swimming Development Officer
Wales National Swimming Pool
Tel: 01792 513619
Mob: 07917 879401